Bollywood Reviews, Movie Reviews

Bachchhan Paandey (2022): They Don’t Call Me BROTHER; They Call Me GODFATHER!

Bachchhan Paandey has an eye and a heart of stone. He walks with an air of arrogance and kills anyone who dares to stand in his way! Director Farhad Samji and producer Sajid Nadiadwala bring the legend of a fearsome one-eyed gangster to screens in “Bachchhan Paandey”. The story is reported to be inspired by true events however there is little evidence to confirm the matter. Starring Bollywood’s “Evergreen Player” Akshay Kumar as Bachchhan Paandey, the film released on March 18, 2022 on the occasion of Holi and presently runs in theaters all across India.

Introducing Bachchhan Paandey!

Budding director Myra Devekar (Kriti Sanon) aspires to make a film which will be based on a real-life gangster. She searches for prospective gangsters who can suit the casting of her film. During her research, she happens to stumble upon the menacing and ruthless one-eyed gangster of Baagwa, Bachchhan Paandey.

Featuring Akshay Kumar as Bachchhan Paandey

Bachchhan Paandey is a fierce gangster who is surrounded by funny yet scary henchmen. His entry scene shows him burning a news reporter alive! In another scene, he is shown having his lunch while his henchmen slit open the throat of a traitor in his gang who was planning to murder him.

As Myra sets on her journey to film the life of this dreaded criminal, she encounters her worst nightmare. That is facing the wrath of Bachchhan Paandey! Her adventurous journey made her come face-to-face with the gangster where she almost got killed.

Kriti Sanon as Myra Devekar in a still from Bachchhan Paandey

Myra was accompanied by her friend Vishu (Arshad Warsi) who offered to help her reach Bachchhan Paandey. When the first time she saw Paandey, she found him impaling the throat of a man who was locked in the boot space of his car. She was shocked after seeing this but decided to continue with her efforts. So, she and Vishu contacted one of Paandey’s henchmen named “Virgin” (Prateik Babbar). Myra started praising Virgin’s looks and style to the point that he started considering himself as a “film hero”. Stealthily, Myra had inserted a microphone inside Virgin’s mobile so that when Virgin went to Bachchhan Paandey’s hideout, she would hear everything what Paandey and his gang were discussing.

Left: Arshad Warsi as Vishu; Right: Kriti Sanon as Myra Devekar in a still from Bachchhan Paandey

There was a gangster named Rana, who was Paandey’s enemy. Paandey was planning to kill him. Myra heard his plan through the microphone which she had planted in Virgin’s mobile. She immediately informed Rana that Paandey was coming to his home to murder him in the middle of the night. Hearing this, Rana fled from his home. Paandey reached Rana’s home and came to know what was going on. He and his gang of henchmen gave an evil laugh and called Virgin. Paandey discovered the microphone inside Virgin’s mobile and thought Virgin to be an informer of the media or the police.

Meanwhile, Paandey’s henchmen had already found Rana. The goons brought Rana before Virgin and Paandey jokingly ordered him, “Come on dear Virgin, shoot this man and lose your virginity”. Virgin had no option other than shoot and kill Rana. After he shot Rana, he dared to point the gun at Paandey! Paandey twisted Virgin’s hand which made the gun point towards him only. Virgin got shot by his own gun and died on the spot. After murdering Virgin, Paandey shouted over the microphone, “Whoever you are, I am coming to get you!”

Jacqueline Fernandez as Sophie in Bachchhan Paandey

Myra heard this and immediately started packing her luggage along with Vishu so that she could escape before Paandey gets them. However, just as she and Vishu were about to leave the house, they saw Paandey and his gang already at the front door waiting for them.

The rest was history! The next scene shows Paandey and his goons beating and torturing Myra and Vishu. As Paandey was about to kill Myra by breaking her skull with a large pointed hammer, she begged for mercy and told him that they were here only to make a film on him. Paandey thought this was not a serious issue and spared them. Finally, he decided to participate in the making of the film.

Akshay Kumar and Jacqueline Fernandez in a retro still from Bachchhan Paandey

When the proceedings of the filmmaking were settled, Myra came to know about the tragic life of this fearsome gangster. Paandey had a girlfriend named Sophie (Jacqueline Fernandez). Many years ago, while he and Sophie were enjoying at a fair, gangster Bheema (Gaurav Chopra) and his henchmen had surrounded Paandey and murdered Sophie right before his eyes. Bheema also impaled Paandey’s left eye and that’s the reason he had his left eye made out of stone. After Myra came to know all this, she started having a soft corner for Paandey.

The film’s shooting began and it was decided that the role of Bachchhan Paandey in the film will be played by Bachchhan Paandey himself! However, the rest of the goons in Paandey’s gang too wanted roles in the film. So Myra decided that all the goons would play their own respective real-life characters. She summoned a renowned comical acting instructor named Bhaves (Pankaj Tripathi) to coach the goons during the filmmaking. Bhaves had no idea that the people whom he was training for the film were real henchmen. During a training session, Bachchhan Paandey happened to laugh at Bhaves’ comical attitude and Bhaves slapped him! This enraged Paandey and his henchmen and they took out pistols, chains, knives and all possible murder weapons to kill Bhaves. However, they were stopped by Myra and Vishu at the end moment before they could do so.

Bachchhan Paandey threatens Myra

Scenes in Bachchhan Paandey show that Paandey used to regularly visit an old man who was in coma for several years. He used to ask the doctors that when this man, who was in fact Paandey’s ex-boss in crime Lalji Bhagat (Mohan Agashe), would come out of coma. One day, Lalji Bhagat really did come out of coma and regained his senses. The doctors summoned Paandey to the hospital. Bhagat smiled at Paandey and said, “Paandey, when you are with me, nothing can kill me!” To this, Paandey looked at Bhagat in the eye and said, “You are right Bhagat, with me around nobody can kill you, EXCEPT ME!” Saying this, Paandey pounced on the reviving and bed-ridden Bhagat and breaks his neck. While killing Bhagat he roared at him, “Why did you kill my Sophie, Why?” In fact, it was Bhagat who had bribed Bheema for killing Sophie. The scene takes a flashback where we come to know that Paandey had killed Bheema moments after Bheema had murdered Sophie. Bhagat used to bribe people by giving them money in a particular type of envelope, which Paandey was familiar with. In Bheema’s car, he discovered bribe money in the same type of envelope. That’s how Paandey knew that Bhagat was the mastermind behind Sophie’s murder. It is the reason that when Bhagat was in a coma, Paandey used to regularly visit the hospital to know when the old man would come out of coma so that he could kill him and avenge the death of Sophie.

Bachchhan Paandey’s henchmen: Left: Abhimanyu Singh as “Pendulum”; Right: Prateik Babbar as “Virgin”

Days passed and the shooting of Myra’s film ended. Bachchhan Paandey attended the film’s premiere and was shocked. The film was not made as it was supposed to be! In the film, Paandey was shown as a “good man” instead of the dreadful gangster he was! Myra had also stealthily morphed his face in some stupid songs in the film and he was shown dancing to those songs. What’s more, the film was not named “Bachchhan Paandey”. Myra had changed the name of the film to “Bhola Paandey”, which means “Innocent Paandey”. Meanwhile, Myra and Vishu had already fled from the scene.

 

After watching the film Paandey’s anger knew no bounds! He decided to track down Myra and Vishu. After they were found, Paandey tied Myra and made her sit in the middle of a lonely place with all his henchmen surrounding her. They put petrol over her and Paandey was about to burn her alive. However, before killing her, he had something to say.

Paandey told the tied up and petrol-covered Myra that he had a change of heart. While he was searching for her, he happened to come across Virgin’s wife (Trishna Singh) and daughter. Virgin’s daughter told him that the film was awesome and she liked his new character. Upon hearing this, Paandey rushed back to the theater and saw the people there praising and enjoying his new “Bhola Paandey” character. Paandey also visited his mother (Seema Biswas), who after seeing the film talked to him after 10 long years!

The scene returns to the present. Paandey was still talking to the tied up Myra. He folded his hands before her and asked for forgiveness. He released her and before leaving, thanked her for making him aware of his reality.

The ending scene shows Paandey filming for a shootout scene where he gets shot and killed by some henchmen. When the director said “Cut”, Paandey rises up and receives praises from all! Bachchhan Paandey is now a movie star!

Bachchhan Paandey (2022) Trailer:

The Good:

The Moral Of The Story!

I would like to narrate the story of an emperor and his dog. There was once a mighty and ruthless emperor who owned a dog. The dog was his dear pet and one day, it happened that the dog died! People from all over the country visited the funeral of the emperor’s dog.

Then one day, after a prolonged illness, the emperor died as well. In his funeral nobody came! The moral of the story of Bachchhan Paandey is the same as the emperor and his dog.

Myra and Vishu beg Bachchhan Paandey for mercy

If you create fear in the minds of people, they will show you respect. But their hearts will be filled with abuses for you! That is why, when the emperor’s dog died, people showed their fake respects and when the emperor himself died; people didn’t care about him at all!

Bachchhan Paandey had this realization and he told this to Myra before he asked for her forgiveness. That’s how, from being a dreaded gangster he turned over a new leaf and chose to pursue his career as an actor.

The story of Bachchhan Paandey is interesting. There are a lot of twists and turns in the screenplay which has been co-written by Samji and Nadiadwala. The climax which shows Paandey’s realization is amazing.

Awesome Performances By The Lead Cast

Akshay Kumar gave a tremendous performance as Bachchhan Paandey. He carried out his role of the one-eyed ruthless gangster diligently. Akshay is nearing 55 and I must credit him for opting to play this role. The Bachchhan Paandey character suits his age. I appreciate Akshay in the sense that he has not tried to forcefully pose as a 25-year-old young man like most aged Bollywood male stars, who have crossed the age of 55, tend to do nowadays. The role of Bachchhan Paandey involved no prosthetics or makeup. Akshay has simply sported a beard and worn a blue colored contact lens on his left eye. That’s it! If you are still intimidated by the looks of Bachchhan Paandey, let me tell you that’s how the aging Akshay looks now!

Kriti Sanon has carried out her role of the inquisitive and daring film director Myra diligently and quite efficiently. Jacqueline Fernandez as Paandey’s girlfriend Sophie had a very short role in between the film. However, she played her role quite well.

Bachchhan Paandey is not an over-the-top action film. There are barely any action or stunts shown in the movie. The action sequences in the movie are situation-based and have been put into the screenplay only when required. In fact, Akshay Kumar’s dialogue delivery and body language do most of the action for him in this movie!

It Will Drive You Crazy!

Paandey breaks Bhagat’s neck

You may find it hard to decide whether to laugh or cry after watching this movie! Bachchhan Paandey involves some ruthless killings. After reading the story of Bachchhan Paandey, you might be wondering that this is some serious crime drama. But no! You will be amazed to know that Bachchhan Paandey is in fact a gangster-based comedy drama! The murders and tortures shown in the film have been shot in a comical manner. The murder and torture scenes will in no way upset you but at times you may feel like laughing at the manner they have been depicted in the movie!

A scene shows Myra getting beaten and tortured by Paandey’s goons. The manner in which they were bashing her up was hilarious. One of the goons started punching her as if he was in some boxing match with her. Another scene shows Virgin dancing in an awkward and funny manner and in the next scene he gets killed by Paandey. Yet another scene shows Paandey celebrating the birthday of his bald film producer Verma (Ashwin Mushran). Paandey by mistake banged the producer’s bald head on the table instead of on the birthday cake. When his goons asked him, “Boss, why did you bang his head on the table? He has lost consciousness!” To this Paandey replied, “Oh no! You should have told me that the cake isn’t there on the table. Hey there! Bring the cake!” The cake was brought and Paandey banged the unconscious producer’s head on the cake saying, “Now it looks okay!”

Bachchhan Paandey taking the blessings of his acting instructor Bhaves (Pankaj Tripathi)

Mind-blowing Dialogues!

Akshay Kumar rocked the show with his mind-blowing dialogue delivery in Bachchhan Paandey. One super hit dialogue in this movie is what I have mentioned in the title of this review. Paandey used to say, “They don’t call me BROTHER; they call me GODFATHER!” Another astounding dialogue Paandey said to Virgin before killing him, “Even my stone eye was watching you!”

A Retro Cinematography

Bachchhan Paandey has a retro cinematography done by Gavemic Ary. The cinematography resembles that of old-school South Indian movies. Also, I believe the camerawork and visual effects have been done so as to match the essence of Bachchhan Paandey’s character as well as lifestyle. Bachchhan Paandey, if at all this legend is true, may have resided in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India during the 1960s or 1970s. That’s how he owned a vintage car as depicted in the movie.

The Songs

Even if the songs in Bachchhan Paandey fail to trigger your interest, don’t forget to check out the sparky track “Maar Khayegaa”! Also, check out the beautiful track “Heer Raanjhana” from the movie featuring Akshay Kumar and Jacqueline Fernandez.

Check Out The Song “Heer Raanjhana” From Bachchhan Paandey

The Bad:

The Supporting Cast

Pankaj Tripathi as Bhaves has ended up overacting in this movie. I am not used to seeing Tripathi in comical roles and I believe he didn’t adapt to the character of the acting instructor Bhaves very well. Too much overacting on his behalf has resulted in his acting to appear somewhat fake.

Bachchhan Paandey also involved overacting done by the people who played Paandey’s henchmen. I feel if they had been given serious roles only then they would have lived up to their performances. The filmmakers chose to make them perform some unpleasant dark comedy scenes which didn’t suit their characters.

Arshad Warsi as Myra’s friend and supporter Vishu has gained oodles of weight and was appearing very much obese in some shots. I feel sad after seeing this once fit and charming actor appear so much overweight as he has aged. At least he could have considered cutting down for his role in this movie!

Paandey’s henchmen pour petrol over Myra to burn her alive

The Direction And Editing

The direction of Bachchhan Paandey by Farhad Samji was not up to the mark. There were a lot of unwanted comical sequences in the movie which have slowed down the screenplay to a great extent.

Also, I feel that the sequences lacked proper editing from Charu Shree Roy. Bachchhan Paandey runs through a huge duration of 2 hours and 30 minutes. If this had been some serious movie with an intense storyline, this huge runtime wouldn’t have mattered to me. However, this comical gangster drama didn’t require this much run duration. It would have been better if the editor considered cutting off unwanted sequences and made the film’s screen time to be somewhere around 2 hours. However, still I would credit the editor for placing all sequences in the movie appropriately which kept its flow.

The Verdict:

As far as the “legend” of this fearsome and ruthless criminal named Bachchhan Paandey in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India goes, I believe that this is a well devised story which bears little resemblance to reality. The reason I am saying this is because Bachchhan Paandey is actually a copy of the 2014 South Indian action crime comedy “Jigarthanda”. Also, Jigarthanda is not the South Indian film industry’s original work. Jigarthanda was itself inspired by the 2006 South Korean action crime drama “A Dirty Carnival”.

https://youtu.be/1Qus7Rq9Jkc

Apart from this, I believe Bollywood didn’t do an appreciable work by upholding a gangster and cold-blooded murderer and depicting him as a “hero” at the end of the movie. But as I usually say in most of my reviews, when you are watching a movie for entertainment, leave all logic behind! Bachchhan Paandey as a movie might not be accepted by many due to its gangster story, but I must tell you that it is a complete entertainment package with thrills and twists that will keep you glued throughout.

The intensity and charisma of Bachchhan Paandey are sure to fascinate you. This movie could have been very well named as “Badass Paandey”. Jokes apart! If you are in to watch this “atom bomb” of entertainment, don’t forget to check out Bachchhan Paandey in your nearest theaters!

  • Acting - 8/10
    8/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 9/10
    9/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
    8/10
  • Rewatchability - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
Overall
7.8/10
7.8/10
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